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new family homeIn Part 1 of “Winning Listings and Converting Buyers” I shared some keys to generate qualified leads by integrating your offline and online marketing initiatives. This article focuses on the conversion of those leads. It is very important to remember that you only get paid on conversions. Nobody cares if you have 1,500 friends on Facebook if you can’t sell their house. You also cannot financially support driving around endless buyers who fail to ever purchase something from you. The conversion process actually starts well before the prospect ever contacts you. That is why you need to consider following the 40/40/20 Rule.

This is a 100-year-old proven formula for creating effective, conversion-friendly real estate marketing, whether it’s offline (like direct mail) or online marketing (such as a Facebook page or your website).

As real estate agents, everything we do is marketing and this rule applies to everything! The 40/40/20 Rule suggests the following when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing, advertising and branding:

–       40 percent of your success is based on knowing your audience. How well do you know the audience you are marketing to? At its simplest level, we are continuously marketing to three very different and distinct generational groups: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. I’m sure we all would agree that these three groups communicate very differently! So why try to communicate with all of them the same way with the same message? To illustrate this portion of the rule, I often ask agents “Who did you send that direct mail piece to?” Or, “Who are you talking to with your most recent Facebook post or blog post?” A typical response will be “my farm” or “the people that live in my farm.” But who are these people? In addition to what generational group they belong to, is the person receiving your message a seller, buyer, empty-nester, investor, renter, married, single, etc? How much do you know about the audience that makes up your farm or your Facebook followers? The more you know about your audience, the more effective your marketing will be, the higher your conversion rates and the more closings you will see. For all of you who have a website, think about applying this rule immediately. Why? Because you probably didn’t build your own website. You probably had somebody else build your website and who did they build that website for? The answer is, YOU. They built the site for you, so that you would think it was pretty. But, who should they have built the site for? Answer: your clients.

–       40 percent of your success is based on the value of your message. How valuable is your message? Are you just posting pictures of houses or celebrating recent sales successes? That is the worst thing you could be doing on social media. For managers: is your only form of social media marketing posting photos of this week’s office birthdays? Are you just posting links to articles from RISMedia or the Wall Street Journal? There is nothing wrong with posting links, but people want your two cents. Any time you post a comment or link, think about whom you are talking to and why you are putting this out there. A great way to measure the effectiveness of this portion of the rule would be for generating listing leads. For example, too many agents advertise “Contact me for a free home evaluation,” which does not offer the prospect much value at all. However, by following this 40 percent of the rule, you might advertise, “If you are thinking of selling your home, anybody can tell you how much your home is worth. Contact us and we will coach you on how to make your home worth more.” Certainly, the second message above has a much higher perceived value than the first.

–       20 percent of your success is based on the look. Whatever you put out there still has to look good. But long gone are the days where you have to worry about getting your headshot, the sunset, the dogs, the neighborhood and your contact info all in the same image. Nobody wants to see that. The look also includes the consistency of your offline and online brand images. Are you trying to be one thing offline and another thing online? I am sure whenever you go on a listing appointment or go out to show a property, you get the car cleaned, you dress nicely, hopefully you smell nice and overall put together a great offline image of your brand. However, since 92 percent of real estate consumers will go online, will the image they find of you online be consistent with what they saw offline? We live in a world of instant transparency so be sure to present a consistent image. Don’t pretend to be a “Luxury Home Specialist” offline, but online all people can find on your Facebook page or website is a couple of $50,000 foreclosures from six months ago.

That’s the 40/40/20 Rule. The same agents who tell me they don’t convert from social media also don’t convert from their website or direct mail. Start applying this rule and start converting more from everything you do. Many agents who have attended the free seminars I teach through HSA Home Warranty have done extremely well implementing this into their marketing strategy to WIN more listings and CONVERT more buyers. I wish you the same success.

For more information on HSA Home Warranty, visit www.onlinehsa.com.

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